Man pleads guilty in wine bottle attack

Christopher McCormick

WOODSTOCK – An Ohio man pleaded guilty to charges Wednesday stemming from him breaking a wine bottle across another man’s face before punching, kicking and choking him.

Christopher Sean McCormick, 30, of North Canton, Ohio, entered his plea in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. He will serve 15 years in prison, with all but three suspended. This will be followed by five years of supervised probation.

According to a summary of the evidence given by Shenandoah County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Angela Landes, McCormick visited his father’s home in Strasburg where the victim was living at the time on Sept. 1.

McCormick brought over a bottle of wine and was in the process of opening it with a nail outside the home, when the victim made a joke about his methodology. At that point, Landes said, he smashed the bottle over the victim’s face, then put the man in a chokehold and began punching and kicking the man’s face.

McCormick’s father eventually came outside and broke up the fight, though McCormick had already done severe damage to the victim’s face. Landes said the victim suffered a fractured orbital bone and required a facial implant, and still gets headaches from the beating.

According to Landes, McCormick later testified that he had come over with the intention of killing the victim because he thought the victim had been spreading rumors about him.

McCormick’s attorney, Charles Ramsey, did not object to the summary of the evidence.

The plea agreement stated McCormick’s original charge of aggravated malicious wounding was to be reduced to malicious wounding. He pleaded guilty to the charge of strangulation. His ancillary destruction of property charge was dropped.

According to Circuit Judge Dennis Hupp, who accepted the plea agreement, aggravated malicious wounding carries a maximum punishment of 20 years, and strangulation carries a maximum punishment of five years.

Along with his jail time and supervised probation, McCormick will have to pay restitution for the crimes. However, that amount will be determined March 15 either by the two attorneys or at an additional hearing in the court.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or